How Can Deer See in the Dark?

   03.09.17

How Can Deer See in the Dark?

This strolled across my Facebook feed this morning, and I thought it was worth a post here.

It was posted to the Hunt Florida Facebook feed, which belongs to Florida’s FWC, which is tasked with managing Florida’s wildlife. Anyhow, here’s what it says about the night vision of whitetail deer:

How deer see in the dark

Not only do deer have a wide field of vision and an amazing ability to detect movement, they also have special adaptations for low light vision. Their eyes have a membrane called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects like a mirror and essentially doubles available light. Plus, deer are likely more sensitive than humans to the blue to blue-green portion of the light spectrum, which helps them see better at dawn and dusk.

And I gotta tell you, from a hunter’s perspective, dawn and dusk are tough times for a deer hunter. They can see well, but we cannot.

That’s when high-quality optics can help. Get yourself a good rifle scope if you don’t want to find yourself wondering whether that deer is legal or not as day fades into night.

For more information on whitetails, the FWC has published a profile on their website; check it out when you get the chance.


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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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